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This Creamy French Onion Soup baked in a bread bowl is an even better, way to love your French onion soup. These cheesy bowls have everything you love about a rich bowl of French onion soup, only better. There’s a touch of cream to make every spoonful rich and creamy. And there’s slowly caramelized onions in a mix of apple cider and wine with fresh herbs. Together they deliver the most delicious flavor. This soup is made even better because it’s baked in a mini bread bowl with slices of melted Gruyère cheese. The perfect bowl of soup that’s great for both fall and winter days!

Creamy French Onion Soup Baked In Bread Bowls |

I was not a kid who grew up enjoying bowls of cheese-topped French onion soup. Honestly, I didn’t grow up with onions at all. My mom has always been very opposed to anything with onions, so we just didn’t have them.

Once I started cooking, for the first few years I too avoided using onions, thinking I didn’t like them. But then things started to change as I began diving into more and more recipes. I tried using shallots, and then eventually onions, and I found that most of us actually kind of love them.

Not raw, definitely not raw onions, those we’re not into, but a sautéed onion is delicious in most recipes. I add them to our tacos, pastas, and more.

Creamy French Onion Soup Baked In Bread Bowls |

A few years ago I made my first-ever french onion recipe. And now we’re obsessed with the classic bowl of cheese-topped onion soup.

This recipe, however, is special. It’s not too different from the classic bowl that you might order out or make at home. But instead of just using broth, I add a touch of cream, then ladle the soup into fresh baked sourdough bread bowls.

Just as Panera does with many of their soups! It’s just as yummy, rich, and delicious as it all sounds. A great soup to make during these cold, short days of the fall and winter seasons.

Creamy French Onion Soup Baked In Bread Bowls |

Here are the details

Step 1: caramelize the onions

This is the step most people get intimated by, but promise you, it’s easy. You need butter and lots of sweet yellow onions. Thinly slice each onion, then start cooking them down in the butter. When they start to soften, add a splash of apple cider. Don’t use vinegar, just regular apple cider.

The sugars in the cider help the onions break down and caramelize evenly and quicker than just caramelizing the onions in butter. The cider also adds a really nice flavor that pairs beautifully with the sweet onion and Gruyère cheese.

Creamy French Onion Soup Baked In Bread Bowls |

Step 2: add the herbs

Next, add some garlic, then the herbs. I love to use a mix of fresh thyme and sage. The thyme is more traditional, but sage is not typically used. I think it’s so delicious with the nutty butter, sweet onions, and cider.

Then add salt and pepper and mix in the dry white wine.

Creamy French Onion Soup Baked In Bread Bowls |

Step 3: add the broth

Next, add the broth. I used a rich beef bone broth, which really gives the soup a rich, french onion flavor. If you’re someone who does not cook with beef broth, you can easily use vegetable broth. Just make sure you’re getting a nice golden color on the onions so the flavor will stand out.

Add a couple of dashes of Worcestershire sauce and then a Parmesan rind. The parmesan rind will simmer with the soup adding in even more yummy flavor. 

Creamy French Onion Soup Baked In Bread Bowls |

Step 4: toast the bread bowl

Now, bake the bread bowls to help dry them out before adding the soup. This will ensure the bread does not automatically soak up all of the broth.

I have been buying my bread bowls from Panera, which are of course delicious. Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s also carry bread bowls, especially during this time of year.

Creamy French Onion Soup Baked In Bread Bowls |

Step 5: bake each bowl

Ladle the soup into each bread bowl and top with slices of Gruyère cheese. Bake until the soup is bubbling under the cheese and the cheese is very melty. It’s going to smell so good. 

Then simply pull these out of the oven and experience the bubbling cheese and the deliciousness of a truly good bowl of French onion soup. The bread bowl itself just makes the already rich and delicious soup even better.

This soup will make a great any night-of-the-week dinner, but my original thought for this recipe was actually for Thanksgiving! Such a cute, easy way to enjoy French onion soup for the holiday. Guests will love it! I already have plans to make this on both Thanksgiving and again over Christmas break. My sister-in-law, Lyndsie is very excited.

Creamy French Onion Soup Baked In Bread Bowls |

Looking for other warming fall/winter soups? Here are my favorites: 

Healthier Slow Cooker Creamy Tortellini Vegetable Soup

Creamy Wild Rice Chicken Soup with Roasted Mushrooms

Cream of Mushroom Soup with Garlic Herb Breadcrumbs

Lastly, if you make this Creamy French Onion Soup in Bread Bowls, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Creamy French Onion Soup In Bread Bowls

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings: 6
Calories Per Serving: 481 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.



  • 1. Melt together the butter and onions in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally until softened, about 10 minutes. At this point, you want to slowly add the apple cider, 1/4 cup at a time, until the cider cooks into the onions. Continue to cook another 10 minutes until you've used all of the cider and the onions are deeply golden.
    2. Add the garlic, thyme, and sage. Season with salt and pepper, cook another 3-4 minutes. Add the wine, broth, Worcestershire sauce, parmesan rind, and season with salt and pepper. Increase the heat to medium-high and return the soup to a simmer, simmer for 10 minutes, then stir in the cream and cook another 5 minutes. Remove the parmesan rind and discard. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
    3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400° F. Arrange the bread bowls on a baking sheet and toast for 10 minutes.
    4. Ladle the soup into the bread bowls and top evenly with cheese. Bake until bubbly and golden brown, 10 minutes. Top with fresh thyme or crispy sage in brown butter. Eat!


Bread Bowls: I order mine at Panera Bread, but most grocery stores carry mini bread bowls. You can also ask the bakery at Whole Foods to bake a few off for you as well. 
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Creamy French Onion Soup Baked In Bread Bowls |

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  1. I made the soup the day before, and reheated it on the stove before throwing in bread bowls and serving. It was as yummy and cozy and fun as I was hoping it would be! I’ll be repeating this one!

    1. Hey Jen,
      Thanks for making this recipe and your comment, so glad it was enjoyed! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! xx

    1. Hi Traci,
      Amazing!! So glad to hear that this dish turned out well for you, thanks for making it and your feedback! xT

  2. 1 star
    These recipe is literally a disgusting mess. It’s basically just a bunch of onions in a bread bowl topped with cheese. And who eats soup with a fork? You’re not even trying anymore. This is repulsive.

      1. Hey Michelle,
        Amazing!! So glad to hear that this soup turned out well for you, thanks for making it and your feedback! xT

  3. Hi Tieghan!
    I am going to make this one tonight! I have all of your cookbooks and love using and just perusing through them when I have a few quiet minutes. I make notes right on the recipe pages, so when I decide to eventually gift them to one of my kids, they’ll have your incredible recipes and images and my thoughts as well.

    Have a favor to ask though. In your blogs and online recipes, would you consider adding where we can find the specific recipe if it is included in one of your cookbooks? Your team can probably easily add a metatag so it is easy on your end and obvious on ours. If there feature is already there and I am just missing it, please point me in the direction.
    Thanks again – and I can’t wait for the next book!

    1. Hey Maria,
      Thanks so much for your kind message, I hope you love this recipe!! All of the recipes that you see on the blog are only on the blog, so you won’t find these in any of the cookbooks:) But, I appreciate your feedback! xR

  4. Hi T! I’m in the mood for some French onion soup and plan on gathering ingredients this weekend! Curious to know which of your French onion soup recipes you’d recommend? At a quick glance I see 6 on the blog and I’m not sure where to begin! How do they differ? Any particular favorites? Should I decide based on comments/feedback?

    1. Hi Cathy,
      I think it really just depends what you are looking for. If you want to do a bread bowl soup then I would obviously suggest this recipe.

      If you want something with less bread, give this one a try:

      If you want to try one with some extra carbs these two are great:

      I hope this helps! Let me know which one you decide to go with! xT

  5. It should have been a red flag that the only good reviews of the recipe are from people who did not make it as written. Seems to be the case with a lot of HBH recipes. Very disappointing.

  6. 1 star
    Does not work as written. Soup should not have to be eaten with a fork. Please consider making adjustments so other people aren’t spending money on these ingredients, only to be left with onion goop.

  7. 2 stars
    This is not soup. After it was put in the bread bowls and baked, there was no soup left, and it was a soggy mix of wet bread and an onion mixture. I should have realized you can’t leave a soup like this sitting in a bread bowl while in the oven without it being absorbed.

    1. Hi Noreen,
      So sorry to hear you had issues with the soup. Did you pull some bread out of the bowls to hollow it out? Let me know how I can help! xx

      1. Perhaps it would help to test recipes. I just went to this blog’s Instagram and saw the same issue in the video on the stories — there was no soup and the remaining onions were being eaten with a fork. Publishing this recipe like this is so disrespectful and is making people waste ingredients 🙁

        1. Agreed. For people wanting to try this, don’t put the soup in the bread bowl and bake it. Hollow out the bread bowl and then put the soup in, but do not bake!

  8. Please re-consider/re-examine/fix this recipe. It appears to be a soggy mess of onions and cheese that needs to be eaten with a fork. I worry that inexperienced cooks may prepare this and be very embarrassed at serving time. And please don’t categorize this comment as snark.

    1. Hi Caroline,
      Thanks for sharing your feedback:) Did you make this recipe and have issues with it? I really don’t feel like this needs fixing, the bread bowls are to be hollowed out before serving so that will help, but it’s also just how a bread bowl soup is meant to be. Definitely not for all taste buds:) xx

      1. Of course bread bowls need to be hollowed out. Otherwise you are pouring soup on a whole loaf of bread. Hollowing out the bread bowl won’t help it soaking up all the broth and leaving onions and cheese. Anyone who has experience cooking knows that. The recipe is faulty and does need fixing. People tend to eat the food they cook and this is not appealing. Thanks for the great comment, Caroline!

  9. 3 stars
    My recommendation is make the soup, but don’t bother with the bread bowls. The bread absorbs all the soup and you are left with onions and cheese which don’t get me wrong tastes good but isn’t soup! I find this to be true unless you put a very thick soup/stew in bread bowls and then serve immediately.

    1. Hi Kenzie,
      Thanks for trying this recipe and sharing your feedback, sorry to hear the bread bowls didn’t go over well! xx

    2. Kenzie, an alternative approach would be to bake the bread bowls with the cheese on the bottom, ladle the soup in, and serve (kind of like an upside down french onion soup). I haven’t made this but it seems like you’re going to lose the broth if you put it in the oven.

  10. I cannot wait to make this! We were out to dinner last night and had French Onion Soup as an appetizer and it was fantastic, but your recipe for the soup, and serving in a bread bowl, well my mind is blown! I will be serving this on Thanksgiving! I will let you know how it goes. Thank you and I love all of your recipes. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    1. Thanks so much for your kind message, Diane!! I hope you love these bread bowls, let me know how they turn out! xT

  11. 5 stars
    This soup is SO luxurious! However, WF was out of sourdough bowls. They say they were having trouble with the vendor and are in a deep dive of transition on their entire bread department. :/. –But it was still delicious! I just toasted some french bread and melted cheese on top. Lovely.

    1. Hey Kimberley,
      Happy Friday!! I am so glad to hear that this recipe was delish, thanks for trying it and your comment! Ahhh bummer about the Whole Foods bread bowls! xT

      1. -Just an update– I returned to WF today and they found a new vendor for their sourdough bread. 🙂 Some of the breads are still being determined.

    1. Hi Tabitha,
      You could make the soup ahead:) But you will want to wait to assemble these until you are ready to bake and serve. I hope you love this recipe! xT

  12. 5 stars
    Just made this-didn’t have apple cider, but added 2 peeled and grated apples to the browned onions and added a little extra wine. Used chicken broth (it was what I had) and it’s delicious!! Don’t have the bread bowls, but will broil some cheese on good bread to dip in. Can’t wait for dinner!!

    1. The ingredients list is actually a checklist. If you tap the boxes a check mark and line will appear. Just tap it and it will go away.

    2. Hi Pam,
      So sorry, I am not sure where you are seeing this….maybe there was a glitch this morning? You can follow the recipe and ingredients as listed including the wine:) Please let me know if I can help in any other way! xT